PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has appointed retired army general Ricardo C. Morales as member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Board of Directors, representing the indirect contributors.

Malacañang released to reporters on Thursday a copy of the appointment paper of Mr. Morales, which Mr. Duterte signed on June 25.

“Pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, you are hereby appointed Member, representing the indirect contributors, Board of Directors, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, to serve the unexpired Term of Office that began on 01 July 2018 and will end 30 June 2019,” the appointment paper reads.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, when asked at a press briefing whether Mr. Morales is set to head the agency, said: “Hindi ko pa alam kung siya ang magiging (I still don’t know if he will become) chief.”

“[T]he board will choose,” he added.

Mr. Duterte appointed Mr. Morales last May as member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), replacing the Board’s then vice chairperson, Reynaldo V. Velasco.

The retired army general’s transfer to the PhilHealth board comes after Mr. Duterte ordered the resignation of its members, including former chief executive officer Roy B. Ferrer, amid investigation into alleged irregularities in the agency.

The investigation includes the controversial dialysis center in Quezon City that supposedly claimed payments for nonexistent patients.

The President had said that he wanted a “retired military doctor or [a] lady police doctor” to head the agency. — Arjay L. Balinbin